İzmir (Smyrna) postcards and photographs collection, approximately 1890-1960s

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Collection is a set of postcards (including photograph postcards) from late 19th and 20th century Turkey, depicting scenes and people in İzmir (Smyrna), Turkey. The first folder of postcards have been individually numbered. The subsequent folders list the postcards by titles that are either on the postcards and/or were supplied by the dealer who sold the postcards to the library. The postcards are described in English, French, and Turkish.
0.25 Linear Feet (1 half-size Hollinger box)
Turkish, Ottoman (1500-1928)
Greek, Modern (1453-)
Collection ID:


Scope and content:

Collection consists of individual postcards and photographs of İzmir (Smyrna), dating from the late 1800s through the 1960s. Some postcards are blank; others have been mailed and contain correspondence most often in French, Greek, or Ottoman-Turkish. Images depicted vary but include markets, mosques, streets and houses, harbor scenes, piers, monuments, ruins, the clock tower. A subset of images depicts the Great Fire of 1922 from the Greco-Turkish War, Greek refugees fleeing by boat, and a floating corpse. There are images of both people and methods of transportation.

Biographical / historical:

İzmir, also known in Greek as Smyrna (sometimes Smyrne) is a Levantine port city now part of present-day Turkey. As a major Levantine city in the Eastern Mediterranean, İzmir was home to a wide variety of people most prominently Armenians, Greeks, Jews, and Turks. Recent tumultuous history has dramatically altered the formerly cosmopolitan make-up of the city. A significant contributing factor was the Population Exchange between 1919-1923. In addition, the Great Fire of 1922 ruined much of the traditional architecture of the city which reflected the diversity of former inhabitants.

Historical note authored by Sean Swanick, Dec. 2020.

Acquisition information:
The İzmir (Smyrna) Postcards and Photographs Collection was received by the David M. Rubenstein Rare Book Manuscript Library as a purchase in 2019 and 2021.
Processing information:

Accession 2019-0037 processed by Meghan Lyon, Dec. 2020. Described by Sean Swanick and dealer description captions.

Accessions 2021-0008 and 2021-0026 processed by Laurin Penland, May 2021. Description is based on an inventory provided by the dealer.

Accessions described in this collection guide: 2019-0037, 2021-0008, 2021-0026.

Rules or conventions:
Describing Archives: A Content Standard


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The copyright interests in this collection have not been transferred to Duke University. For more information, consult the copyright section of the Regulations and Procedures of the David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library.

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Preferred citation:

[Identification of item], İzmir (Smyrna) Postcards and Photographs Collection, David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library, Duke University.